Woodside Judo and Sambo Club, Bedford, travelled to Dalfsen, Holland, to compete in the Dutch Open Judo and Sambo Tournament on the 18th and 19th March.
The International Tournament boasted over 1000 competitors from 19 different countries.
The first day saw the club competing in Sambo. First up was Richard Lilley, 11, a judo competitor who was fighting in his first ever Sambo tournament. In the first round Richard found himself 4 points behind early on, he then showed great strength to find a 4 point throw and followed with a 4 point hold. He then went on to gain 1 more point from a throw to eventually win 9-4. In the next round Richard immediately went 4 points ahead, and his opponent had to withdraw with an injury. This meant Richard was in the final, where he lost 10-0 to a very experienced Dutch fighter. Richard finished with the Silver medal.
Next up was Cyeanne Eaton, 13. Due to the female entries being low in numbers for the Sambo, Cyeanne found herself in a weight group 11kg above her weight in the under 52kg's. Cyeanne was winning 4-0 in her first fight but went on to lose 8-4. Her next fight, against the favourite for the Gold, her opponent was too strong and cyeanne found it difficult to unbalance her. she went on to lose 10-0. Cyeanne finished with the Bronze medal.
Vinny Dragan, 22, grew up and trained sambo in Lithuania. He moved to England last year and has recently re-started training at Woodside. Vinny was looking strong through the preliminary rounds winning fights comfortably 12-0 and with submission work. The final against a French oponent was a much closer contest. Both fighters picking up points and swapping the lead between them. The fight went the distance with Vinny unfortunately losing 8-6. Leaving him the Silver medal.
Next up Head Coach Ian Parker, 25. After dislocating his finger early in his first fight, Ian was finding it difficult to keep any grips on his opponents and was knocked out the tournament in the second round with an Ultimate win from a Kata Guruma.
Adam Dodds, 14, has recently moved from the junior section up to Youth (14-17 yr olds). Adam dominated his first opponent and won the fight 12-0 with 2 4-point throws and a 4-point Hold. Adam then found himself facing an experienced Ukraine fighter. Adam fought extremely well to take the fight the distance but lost on points 10-0. Adam received the Silver medal.
Russell Dodds, 43, had earlier in the year retired from fighting the youngsters to concentrate on masters and veteran events. However he was tempted to fight once more. Russell won his first fight against an experienced Scotsman 12-0. He then went on to beat a French opponent 12-4 at the end of the fight. Russell lost his next fight on points and his final contest he withdrew from with breathing difficulties. Russell finished with a Bronze medal.
With the club exceeding the club coach, Ian Parker's expectations on the first day, everyone was excited for the judo on the saturday.
Anton Parocki, 8, was looking to defend his Gold medal from the year before. Anton found himself in a large group of 16 youngsters. Anton had a total of 8 fights and won 7 of them with maximum points from either Ippon throws or Holds. Anton was looking very tired by the time he got to the final but found one last bit of energy to throw his opponent for a Wazari score which he successfully defended to take the Gold medal.
Vinny Dragan, 22, had never entered a judo tournament. Despite knowing the rules his instinct took over and he immeadiately performed a leg grab! The referee spared him disqualification and this fight went the distance with no score. In the Golden score Vinny got Caught with a Tani Otoshi to lose the fight. Vinny then had 3 more fights which he won with ease and with maximum points and finished with a Silver Medal.
Head Coach Ian Parker, with his dislocated finger heavily strapped up, was forced to fight very tactically, not his usual style of fighting. he won his first four fights with 2 Ippons, a Yuko and a Wazari. He then lost to the eventual Gold Medallist to a Drop Seio Nage for Ippon score. He finished with the Bronze Medal.
Aimee Lilley, 13, was next to fight. Aimee had 4 fights in total all of a high standard. Aimee showed great maturity in her style of fighting by being very controlled in her fighting. In all Aimee's fights she took the lead then defended her lead until she had an opening to attack again. she won the Final with a hold to take the Gold Medal.
Elora Parocki, 13, also had a large group. Elora was fighting particularly well and didnt take any chances. she dominated all her oponents and won all her fights to take the Gold medal.
Cyeanne Eaton, 13, first fight was dissapointing as she lost to a hold against an opponent cyeanne and her coach thought she should have beat. Cyeanne showed great mental strength to pick herself up, win her next 3 fights, and then be faced with the same opoonent that beat her in the first round, in the semi-final. Cyeanne made no mistake this time winning with Ippon throw to get into the final. Cyeanne lost the final to a hold and finished with a Silver medal.
Shannon Lilley, 11, had a pool of 4 girls. All experienced players shannon new it would be a tough group. Shannon did well to win one of her fights with a hold and took the Bronze medal.
The total tally of Medals was 3 Gold, 5 Silver and 4 Bronze. 12 Medals from 14 Fighters. This is the best result the club has ever had from this competition.